“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
To listen to what God has to say, we must first set aside our own emotions and opinions. This is not easy. It requires us to crucify, or kill, our flesh. We must die out to our own dreams and goals in order to hear God’s goals for our lives. Before God can mold into the person He wants us to be, we must first remove all our expectations of and desires for our future. We must be able to hear God for what He says, not what we want Him to say.
The Scriptures are here to help us. When we are too set on our own desires to listen to God’s voice, we can still hear from God through His word. The more time we spend reading the Bible, the more we learn about who God is and how He thinks. We can force ourselves to think like God by simply seeking to understand God’s point of view.
When you read the Bible, do you pray for understanding?
Before you can audibly hear anything from God, you must first believe the Scriptures. You cannot believe the Scriptures unless you take the time to understand them. You cannot understand the Scriptures unless you ask the Holy Spirit to teach you their meaning.
If you truly want to hear from God, begin by asking for understanding when you read the Bible. When you reach a word that you do not know, take the time to look up the definition of the word and pray for God to show you which meaning of the word is being used. If a phrase or verse makes no sense, ask God to reveal its message to you. Try to understand the context of the verse. Who was speaking? Who is the verse speaking to? Is this a literal verse, or is there an additional spiritual meaning to the verse? God may not reveal the answer to you immediately. There have been times when I asked for the meaning of a passage and months later the answer showed up unexpectedly in a sermon. Sooner or later, God will answer you. He promised that He would (James 1:5).
The key to setting aside your passions and opinions is simply reading God’s word with an open mind. Seek to understand the Bible, and the Scriptures will penetrate your soul, teaching you right from wrong and preparing your spirit to listen to God’s will for your life. Reading the Bible is like going on dates with the Lord; it is the foundation of a relationship that allows you to get to know God until you are ready for deeper levels of friendship and communion.